6 Teams That Can Wreck The College Football Playoff
by Rick Bouch Scores & Statson
There are three weekends left in the 2018 college football season and a lot can happen. While everyone is looking at the top four in the College Football Playoff, they might want to take a look at these six teams, all outside the Top 10, which could completely wreck the current CFP lineup.
NORTHWESTERN At 6-4, the Wildcats clinched a berth in the Big Ten championship game with a win over Iowa last week. Northwestern’s only loss in conference play was to Michigan, a team they were beating 17-0 before losing 20-17. Imagine head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s team winning their first-ever Big Ten championship game. With four losses, there is no way they are heading to the CFP…but the Wildcats would clear the way for someone else.
WASHINGTON The Huskies (7-3) were a preseason favorite for the CFP but those hopes were dashed in a loss to Oregon. Then, Washington dropped a 12-10 yawner to 6-4 Cal. Anyway, Chris Petersen’s squad can take away the Pac-12’s only hope at a CFP berth – Washington State – with a win in their annual season-ending Apple Cup rivalry game. The Huskies have beaten the Cougars five times in a row. The combined score in those games? 189 to 71. If it happens again, Mike Leach and the Cougars can say bye-bye to the CFP.
OKLAHOMA STATE Mike Gundy’s Cowboys almost ruined Oklahoma’s CFP hopes last week. A completed two-point conversion pass in the final minute of play would have done it. Instead, 5-5 Oklahoma State gets the chance to do it again in Week 12 when the Cowboys host No. 9 West Virginia. The Mountaineers and Sooners seemed destined to play for the Big 12 title, but a second loss along the way will ruin West Virginia’s CFP aspirations.
IOWA STATE The team no one wants to play right now is Iowa State. After making a quarterback change, head coach Matt Campbell and the Cyclones have won five straight. They will face No. 15 Texas in Week 12 and with some help from Oklahoma State, could play for a Big 12 championship. Combined, Iowa State and Oklahoma State can make sure no team from the Big 12 reaches the CFP.
PITTSBURGH They started the season 2-3 and now they sit atop the ACC’s Coastal Division. The Pitt Panthers have the potential to absolutely derail the College Football Playoff. At 5-1 in conference play, the Panthers face Wake Forest and Miami to end the season. With a win in either game, Pitt will clinch the division and play No. 2 Clemson for the ACC title. Remember 2016? That’s the year Pitt upset Clemson 43-42. If the Panthers beat the Tigers in the ACC championship, what then?
SYRACUSE The Orange (8-2) can’t win the ACC. Back-to-back losses to Clemson and Pitt at midseason knocked them out of contention for the Atlantic Division crown. Still, No. 12 Syracuse can wreck the CFP. The Orange take on No. 3 Notre Dame in Week 12. The Fighting Irish are 10-0 and rolling. Their closest game since the season-opening 24-17 win over Michigan was a 19-14 victory over…Pitt. A Syracuse victory over Notre Dame likely knocks the Irish out of the CFP race and opens the door for someone else.